Europe has a toothache.
You know how it is with toothache. At first you delude yourself that it will just go away. You try to ride it out. But it persists, so you accept there’s a problem and try to manage it with painkillers and mouthwashes. Eventually, you concede defeat and it’s off to the dentist.
The pain associated with the euro can no longer be managed with mouthwashes and painkillers in the form of fiscal probity and bailouts. But it seems Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and the other EU leaders would sooner tolerate persistent toothache than subject themselves to the short, sharp pain of extraction.
Once a political ideology becomes entrenched, its sponsors adopt an ostrich-like policy of self-delusion. They know they can’t take it forward any more. And they’re stubbornly determined not to go back on it. So they just plant their feet, duck their heads and attempt to brazen it out.
The euro was a nonsensical concept in the first place. Merging the currencies of a whole bunch of wildly dissimilar countries with wildly differing economies and locking all of them into an interest rate suitable only for one of them – did no one see the flaw in this? It could never have worked, not even if Germany had baulked at Greece joining the Eurozone on the basis of dodgy budget figures.
The euro is not just an economic catastrophe. It’s also an anti-democratic abomination and must be dismantled, just as other delusional ideologies, like Nazism and Marxist communism, were dismantled in the last century. The sweet tooth has gone bad and must be pulled. Europe must brace itself for short-term pain now for the sake of long-term gain in the future.